Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, November 25, 2017
There’s no Cigar Mile on this Thanksgiving Saturday at Aqueduct, but it’s nevertheless a great program at Aqueduct. They’ve got ten races, including three stakes! Race 1 goes off at 11:50 AM EST.
We’ve got Mike Mahon (@MikeMahonPA) with picks & analysis of the program. Good luck to everyone playing along!
Race 1, 6 Furlongs, Claiming $10,000
3/4 w 2
4 Power Nap was claimed for $25k in early October, and is running with a $10k price tag today. It’s an unusual drop, but I’ll still play him if he stays close to the 5/1 morning line. 3 Bar None has recently won at a higher level twice this month, and should be able to handle today’s contestants. I’ll play 2 Drover Crazy underneath. He’s a strong competitor at this level.
Race 2, 6 1/2 Furlongs, $50,000 Maiden Claiming
2/8 w 10
Both 2 O Shea Can U See and 8 Vicar’s Legend are first time geldings, with the former also adding blinkers. 10 Platinum Nugget will eventually make his way to the winner’s circle, but not this afternoon. I’ll keep him underneath. Of the AEs, I’ll play 14 Merger of Banks and 15 Three Goals if they run.
Race 3, 1 3/8 Mile (Turf), Maiden $60,000
6, 9 to win
The morning line favorite 9 Culture Carrier should go off at fairly short odds. He’s been training well and drops a bit in class while stretching out a touch. He’s a closer and should have enough track to run down the leader. I’m also intrigued by 6 Cumulative, who has only run once before. That was a one-mile claimer where he sat back for most of the run, and managed to gain some ground after a little urging. He may benefit from the added distance.
Race 4, 1/16 Miles (Turf), Forever Together Stakes $150,000
5, 7 exacta box
I hate to play chalk in stakes races, but looks this like a match contest between 7 My Impression and 5 Penjade.
Race 5, 6 Furlongs, Maiden $60,000
1, 5, 6, 8, 9 (exacta combos)
Of the 10 potential contestants, only three have run before. Each of those three could win this afternoon. In his first out, 1 Blinded Vision set a fairly reasonable pace before being overtaken while running out of gas down the stretch. I expect a similar outing today, and will use him underneath. McGaughey doesn’t play his first-timers too aggressively but wins second outings at a 20% clip, so 8 Sargeant Drive is also live. 9 Thunder’s Honor completely stopped in his first out, and I expect him to be a lot closer than 25 lengths today.
Moving along to the first-timers, 5 Racing Raven and 6 Fixed Point both come from precocious stocks. In terms of my actual betting strategy here, I plan to keep an eye on the board and play any exacta combos of these five (1, 5, 6, 8, 9) that pays over $25.
Race 6, 1 Mile, Allowance $67,000
7 w 6/8
There’s a lot of speed in this race. I liked 6 Big Mara at first glance, but I don’t think she can go a full mile at this level. She could potentially disrupt the pace, which would benefit 1 Road to Perfection if there’s a meltdown. At 15/1, 1 Road to Perfection may be worth a small win wager to hedge. 8 Remarqued is another coquettish option – she’s run well at this distance and level – but I don’t understand why she’s on dirt today. It looks like 7 Boule is a clear best play, and expect her odds to be even shorter than the 6/5 morning line. I’d suggest singling her in your horizontals while keying her in your exotics.
Race 7, 1 Mile (Turf), Allowance Optional Claiming $80,000
3 w 6 w 1
This is a pretty puzzling field of fillies – you see a lot of graded stakes losers and six-figure class drops. 1 Oh Zap, on the other hand, is making a big jump from the $36,000 Maiden where she took first. She draws the rail and should be able to settle in with a nice trip. I don’t think she can win, but I’ll put her underneath.
3 Go Noni Go, the only gal with a price tag in this OC, runs her third out since switching trainers. It looks like Maker had some fairly aggressive aspirations for this one, which he’s apparently given up on. She’s a speed horse and if she breaks clean she should be able to get out front easily before the turn and wire the field. Look for 6 Night Time Lady coming on down the stretch. She’ll make things interest, but I don’t see Noni fading enough to lose the lead. 8 Blue Atlas is a compelling play, but I don’t think she wants to go a mile.
Race 8, 6 Furlongs (Turf), Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship Stakes $125,000
1/4 w 1/3/4 w 5/11
I like 1 Snowday on the rail, and 3 White Flag is a solid contender you can’t look past. It’s a little off-putting that 4 Rainbow Heir has never gone six furlongs, but he ran very well in a grade 3 last (only losing by half a length) and he’s taken off close to three months. 5 Conquest Panthera is a perplexing play; his PPs are all over the board, across distances and class. Regardless of the distance, he consistently sits off the pace and tries to land in the money. I think today things could be a little too clustered, and his patience may prove a burden. 11 Bucchero will be in the mix, but he’ll be coming from the outside and I’m not sure if he’ll be able to squeeze in.
If this is off the grass, I’ll go with 13 Summer Revolution despite the slim payout.
Race 9, 1 1/8 Miles, Discovery Stakes (Grade 3)
6 w 5 w 2
I like 6 Control Group a lot in this one. He’s on an uptick, he likes this distance, and this will be his second out since a layoff. He made a huge jump in class last out (from a $25k OC to the $300k Empire Classic), and ran well until being run down on the backstretch. 5 Bonus Points will try to run him down, but I don’t see him doing so. 2 Can You Diggit should be there to round out the trifecta.
Race 10, 1 1/16 Miles (Turf), $35,000 Claiming
1, 4 to win
1, 4 w 8
I’m intrigued by 1 Baseline because I don’t see a clear-cut pace setter in the field, and he could wind up out front coming out of the shoot and position himself nicely at the first turn. 4 Djulpan has been running lights out in the morning. He’ll be hot on the heels of whoever gets out front, and should be close enough to contest down the backstretch. I’ll use 8 Strike Midnight underneath.
If this moves to the dirt I’ll play 15 The Orphan Miracle.